What Is Guanciale?


What Is Guanciale? Perhaps you have heard of this type of Italian cured meat before, or maybe this is the first time you are learning of it. This kind of pork is melt in your mouth delicious!

What It Is

Guanciale is an Italian cured meat product that has been prepared primarily from pork cheek or jowl. It is pronounced as gwaan-CHAA-lei. This meat has been cured in a mix of salt and spices and is used in classic pasta dishes such as spaghetti all carbonara.

Flavor and Texture

Guanciale is primarily fatty, and is similar to bacon except it has a very delicate texture. It has a slightly bacon like taste, but overall the taste is a salty pork, and because it is so fatty it melts right in your mouth. Guanciale is similar to pancetta, which is often used as its substitute. It is a specialty of central Italy.

You can make your own guanciale at home or purchase it. It is relatively simple to follow the steps below and make guanciale at home, if you feel adventurous. Or if you would rather you can purchase guanciale. It can be purchased online or through La Quercia, Buon Italia and Salumi Artisan Cured Meats to name a few. Guanciale is becoming more popular in the United States today, but it can still be difficult to located it at your average grocery store.

How To Make Your Own

To make your own guanciale at home, start with a pork cheek. Begin by rubbing it with a combination of salt, sugar, pepper and your choice of herbs and spices. Allow the pork cheeks to air dry for several weeks. Once dry, you can cook into your choice of dish. This pork meat is delicious when used as a salad or pizza topping, or to top a sandwich or vegetable dish!

The mouth watering answer to What Is Guanciale, is that it is part of the cheek or jowl of pork, and it a type of Italian cured meat. It is a delicious fatty pork meat that literally melts in your mouth.

What is your favorite way to use guanciale?

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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